Published On: Wed, Jun 1st, 2016

Kingdom struggles with situation Venezuela

IPKO1THE HAGUE - The parliaments of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten and the Netherlands discussed today during the second day of the Inter-Parliamentary Consultation Kingdom (IPKO) the dire situation in Venezuela.

An important question is how to deal with the consequences that are already felt on the islands.

According to the Aruban MP René Herdé there are increasingly negative situations connected to pseudo-tourism from Venezuela. He is referring to Venezuelans residing on one of the ABC islands, committing one or more crimes and quickly disappear to their own country.

The Dutch MP André Bosman wants the islands to ensure that the legal structure is in order. It is a good plan, according to Bosman, to introduce a visa requirement for Venezuelans in order to keep refugees at the border.

The islands oppose the proposition made by Bosman. “Then you close some doors to tourists and investors,” said Alex Rosaria. “In addition, people who come by boat choose to ignore visas. Otherwise Cubans would have never gone to the U.S.”

Rosaria calls for enhanced screening at the border. Instead of a visa, he thinks more in the direction of an ESTA legislation such as the United States.

Herdé believes that Aruba’s physical and organizational capacities are too small. Ideally, he would like to send refugees to larger countries with better facilities, but that cannot happen overnight. It also appears that there is a lack of information sharing from  authorities in the concerned countries. This has to do partly with the sensitivity of the subject.

The majority of the Venezuelan population lives below the poverty line. The country is in a deep political, economic and social crisis. The crime rate is extremely high.

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